Photo Credit: Air Force Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Ergish
F-35A Lightning II flies at the Wings Over Houston Airshow, Oct. 15, 2023.

The Israel Air Force is planning to grow dramatically following the lessons of the Gaza War and estimates of the current and future threats to Israel, and to this end has forged a new plan to procure advanced US warplanes and helicopters, as well as renew its stockpile of aerial ammunition, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

According to the proposed plan, Israel will invest tens of billions of dollars in purchasing four squadrons of advanced fighter jets and two squadrons of combat helicopters, as well as additional refueling planes.


In addition, the amount of ammunition that will be made available to the IAF and the IDF will increase dramatically and will include speeding up the production processes of ammunition in Israel, to increase Israeli independence in this area.

In recent years, Israel’s dependence on the US for the ongoing supply of ammunition has been increasing, and as a result, Israel has been losing its independence in one of the basic prerequisites for its very existence. Any military operation that goes beyond the span of a few weeks requires American support in renewing the stockpile of armaments.

The State Comptroller’s 2014 report examined Israel’s independence in the field of armaments and came up with disturbing findings. For example, the comptroller noted that as early as the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the security establishment understood the depth of the problem in procuring military equipment, including ammunition made in Israel, which caused the “deterioration in the condition of some of the production infrastructures in the defense industries; Production capacity was reduced; Manufacturing infrastructure has become obsolete; Heavy munitions lines at the Military Industry and the production line of ammunitions for the IDF have deteriorated due to the absence of orders; and it will take a long time to restart the lines with considerable investments in production means and personnel.”

The result, by design on the part of the leaders of the security apparatus, was the inability of Israel’s industry to meet the demands of the IDF, which in turn increased dependence on American supplies.

As the Comptroller put it: “In the years 2008-2010, heavy damage was caused to the production lines in the heavy munitions complex of the military industry, which, among other things, is involved in the production of ammunition for tanks, artillery ammunition, and warheads.”


The curtailing of Israel’s industrial capacity to produce ammunition for the three branches of the IDF turned a growing reliance on the US into a dependence that by now has turned Israel into a mere client state, a dependent satellite of the American government and military-industrial complex.

The decision to increase this trend much further, by tens of billions of dollars, is perhaps the most injurious outcome of the conceptzia that gave the world the October 7 massacre, as well as Israel’s current cowering before Hezbollah’s escalating war of attrition.

One of Israel’s most prominent opponents of the conceptzia before October 7 has been General (Res.) Itzhak Brik, and one of Brik’s most often repeated complaints has had to do with the IDF brass’ chronic dependence on the Air Force, which is the most expensive but not most decisive approach necessarily. Brik is preaching for a new IDF Rockets Corps that would match and surpass the enemy’s stockpile of rockets trained on Israel.

“The costs of the Air Force are enormous compared to the Defense Forces,” Brik said in a January 13 interview on Tov News. “Buy one less squadron of F-35s, build a ground-to-ground force of thousands of missiles, which are the same as the ones carried on the warplanes. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman at the time wanted to do it, but the Air Force convinced him to shut it because they wanted the money for more planes.”

The combination of enhancing Israel’s dependence on the US at the cost of half of Israel’s budget, with the degradation of its munitions production and the complete neglect of a rockets corps has one existential result: Israel’s ability to act independently is greatly curbed by its almost complete dependence on the US. In essence, Israel’s leaders are spending all their money on expensive American war machines while neglecting the much more effective and much cheaper alternatives at home.

For example: one of the reasons for the IDF’s entry into the Gaza Strip after October 7 was the US announcement that it could supply the needed ammunition only starting on November 9, 2023. This was clearly a delaying tactic on the part of the White House, which, as you may recall, objected outright to a land operation in Gaza.

Elbit, which holds the IDF contract for producing artillery shells, is able to produce only 3,3000 shells per month. To get an idea of just how deep is the trouble the IDF brass had wrought: in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the IDF fired 6,000 artillery shells per day, some 200,000 shells altogether. In the 2014 Gaza War, the IDF fired 2,000 shells each day, 35,000 in the entire 55-day operation.

With that level of dependence, expect the next Democrat in the White House to force a Palestinian State down Israel’s throat, complete with a “limited” return of the 1948 “refugees” to their rightful homes inside Israel. Every new F-35 sinks further in the ground the Jewish State’s aspirations for national renewal.

Enough with the expensive toys. Build a self-reliant army that can afford to follow the policies carved out in Jerusalem, not Washington DC.


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